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PHOTOS: Malaysia Returns Missing U.S. Soldiers from WWII

After 70 years, three U.S. airmen are finally coming home from Malaysia for a proper burial and resting spot.

A U.S. military transport plane crashed in 1945, shortly after the end of World War II. The government did not release the names, but The Washington Post reported the only men on board were Flight Officer Judson Baskett, First Lieutenant William H. Myers, and Private Class Donald E. Jones.

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No one knows the cause of the crash. The pilots were believed to have had decent visibility from their cockpit, but the plane disappeared without a trace. A search crew did not find the plane, which led to the government declaring the three men dead.

Wreckage was discovered in 1966, but authorities did not investigate the area. More people found the plane in 1985, “but it was not until 2009 when locals photographed the site that it was reported to the US embassy in Malaysia.”

Other events postponed a recovery mission, but Malaysia recovered the bodies in August and September.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who is currently in Asia, attended the ceremony in Kuala Lampur. He put his hand over his heart as four Malaysian soldiers handed the wooden box to U.S. troops. Those men placed the box into a metal casket and covered it with an American flag.

Then two airmen and two soldiers “acting as pallbearers carried the coffin into an enormous C-130 transport plane, which took off for Hawaii.”

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